The best practical explanation I’ve heard for why we have the civil anarchy we have in this country comes from an episode of “Castle Rock.”
Set in small town Maine, “Castle Rock” is a streaming horror series created by Stephen King. As you might expect from its description and creator, horrible things are happening in Castle Rock. Frustrated by the madness and bustle of the city, one of the characters sums up the situation thus:
“Bad **** happens in this town because bad people feel safe in this town.”
Castle Rock may be fiction, but his description of why our society today resembles, as Ann Coulter so aptly puts it, “a feces-coated murderous topia that makes Charles Bronson’s Death Wish look like The Sound of Music”, is anything but fantastic. You see it everywhere.
You see it in small towns like the one depicted in “Castle Rock”. A recent Wall Street Journal article on violent crime plaguing rural American cities says:
“Former law enforcement officials said they had never witnessed the level of violence in the past two years.
“‘It was like people were losing their ever-loving spirit,’ said Ms. McCoy, district attorney for White County, a dry central Arkansas county with poultry farms and a Christian university.”
You see it in big cities, especially those that have fallen victim to “progressive” district attorneys and “reinvented” law enforcement. Even the most left-leaning cities eventually got tired of constantly replacing their car windows and being asked (in disbelief) to “tolerate burglaries as part of city life”. Witness the recent crushing recall of leftist district attorney Chesa Boudin to San Francisco as evidence.
You see it at the national level where, in some countries, gangs of murderers carry out their acts of violence without any concern. For example, Open Doors USA’s latest annual report documents the murder of 4,650 Christians in the country of Nigeria alone in 2021, or more than one person every two hours. The Biden administration has contributed to the country’s reluctance to act, which has surprisingly removed Nigeria from the US government’s “countries of particular concern” list, which is a vital tool in identifying the worst violators of religious freedom across the country. world.
So why, with all this carnage, do we let the bad guys feel safe in our cities and countries?
Noonan to the rescue
In her usual fashion, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and political columnist Peggy Noonan lists three failures of government leadership that set the stage for societal chaos. The first, says Noonan, is an undue reluctance to listen to anyone but themselves, which is an expression of their narcissistic pride.
The second is that they are more loyal to their ideological theories than to people and therefore have no real sympathy for those hurt by their flawed philosophical implementations. Finally, they show a deer attitude in the headlights when their plans crumble and burn in the real world.
For example, when he was ousted from power, Chesa Boudin said voters were “in a bad mood” because of inflation and the cost of housing. Uh-huh. San Francisco couldn’t be more dangerous now than it was portrayed in ‘The Walking Dead’..”
Noonan’s observations are helpful in helping us understand the age-old mechanisms behind our social disorder, but what are we doing to rectify the situation and what does the scripture say about it?
The Bible’s Prescription for Order
Certainly, some of the commandments given to Israel in the Old Testament are difficult to understand at first sight. More than a few seem too harsh.
For example, while the death penalty seems appropriate for homicide (Exodus 21:12), would executing someone for breaking the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15) and dishonoring their parents (Deut. 21:18-21) is really necessary?
For the profound theological reasons that satisfactorily answer this question, I leave you in the good hands of scholars like Dr. Paul Copan. But there is one thing I will tell you here and now about the divine directives and chastisements God gave to Israel:
They didn’t let the wrong people feel safe.
There are only one or two accounts recorded in the scriptures that describe these punishments, and there is probably a good reason: it only took one or two instances for the criminals to get a sense of what awaited them if they followed through with their evil intentions. .
Solomon wrote, “Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are wholly given to do evil” (Ecc. 8:11). David says that the arrogance of bad people reaches a point where they say, “I will not be moved” (Psalm 10:6).
But they have to be moved. And apart from a change brought about by our Creator, they must bear the penalties of their sins.
These individuals require the constant attention of our justice system and we must all remain vigilant to keep them in fear of committing crimes or they will quickly regroup and do more harm. As Gandalf told Frodo in the Lord of the Rings: “Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another form and grows again.”
So the question is, how many more Castle Rocks are we going to tolerate until we do what’s necessary and the bad guys don’t feel safe anymore?
Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has authored numerous articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented apologetic events. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce, a master’s degree in Christian apologetics and a doctorate. in the New Testament. His latest book is, Confident Faith: Winning People to Christ with the Apostle Paul’s Apologetics.